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Sefton Council encourages residents to crack down on smoky vehicles

Sefton Council is asking residents to work with them to help reduce the air pollution caused by taxis, HGVs and buses.

 Traffic places a considerable threat on the quality of Sefton’s air, so if vehicles are polluting more than they should be, they are causing a serious threat to the environment.

 Sefton Council wants to wants to enlist the support of communities to make sure that vehicles which are producing excessive smoke are reported to the appropriate authorities so that the fault can be rectified.

 Residents can report overly-polluting taxis to Sefton Council’s licensing team by making a note of the taxi driver number which usually appears on a small plate above the license plate and should have the Sefton Council logo on it. Taxis can be reported online at

 Smoky HGVs and buses can be reported to the driver and vehicles standards agency (DVSA) online via or by calling the DVSA on 0300 123 9000 (select option 7).

The information required is:

  • Type of Vehicle (HGV heavy goods vehicle or PSV public service vehicle)
  • Vehicle Registration Mark
  • Company Name (if apparent)
  • Road Name/Number where vehicle seen
  • Date & Time of sighting

 Well maintained vehicles should produce very little smoke from exhausts except when they are starting up, accelerating hard or climbing steep hills. However, some vehicles emit dense plumes of smoke and may not meet legal emission standards.

 These vehicles will undoubtedly create higher levels of pollutants which in turn can have an adverse effect on people’s health and the surrounding environment.

 Cllr Paulette Lapin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “We don’t want vehicles that emit plumes of smoke to be welcome on Sefton’s roads. Our taxi licensing team will review any vehicles that are reported to them to ensure they have an up to date MOT.

 “We are working hard to keep Sefton’s air clean and in the past few years, the council has implemented a number of measures to reduce pollution across the borough resulting in improvements in air quality”.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Air pollution can have major health consequences and micro-pollutants such as PM 2.5s are small enough to travel into the respiratory system.

 “With many Sefton roads providing a route to the docks, HGV traffic can be high and if these are releasing excessive fumes they can have a detrimental effect on people’s health and the environment. By reporting smoky HGVs and buses to the DVSA, we can all help to protect Sefton’s air.”

Sefton health commissioners shortlisted for national award

NHS commissioners in Sefton have been shortlisted for the prestigious HSJ Value Awards 2018. The awards recognise the very best in efficiency and improvement from across the NHS.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG have been jointly nominated in the communications category for work associated with communicating their Repeat Prescription Ordering Scheme (RPOS).

RPOS was designed to improve patient safety, by reducing the amount of adverse drug events caused by people having stockpiles of unused drugs stored without supervision in their homes, and also reduce the cost of unused prescriptions, estimated at around £2 million a year in Sefton alone.

The scheme was part of an overall medicines optimisation strategy adopted by the CCGs which also included the ‘only order what you need’ public awareness campaign and a number of other initiatives aimed at improving people’s awareness of the medicines they use. The CCGs have also undertaken an extensive engagement programme with Sefton residents to inform decisions about how RPOS and other schemes operate.

It is estimated that RPOS has resulted in estimated savings of at least £500,000 for the NHS in Sefton, although it is believed that the actual savings are significantly higher. RPOS also identified a significant number of patients who were not ordering their prescriptions and were subsequently at increased risk of deterioration in their health.

Speaking about being shortlisted for the award, Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at the CCGs, said: “Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award is testament to the hard work of everyone here at the CCG who care deeply about delivering the very best health service possible for people in Sefton. The improvements to patient safety, coupled with significant cost savings, delivered by this scheme are a real success story.”

Shortlisted teams will discuss their nominations with a panel of healthcare experts in London next month before the final winners are announced at a ceremony in Manchester on 7 June.

Sefton residents urged to ‘keep warm, keep well’

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG have joined Sefton Council in encouraging people in Sefton to ‘keep warm, keep well’ over the next few days as severe low temperatures and a bitterly cold wind are forecast from now until the weekend.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings across the North West and although Sefton isn’t currently expected to see any snow over the coming days, that doesn’t lower the risk from freezing cold temperatures.

People over the age of 65, pregnant women, people with a long-term health condition and very young children are amongst those who most at risk from the cold weather. The NHS offers advice on how to keep you and your family well at home including:

  • heating your home to at least 18C (65F)
  • draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • get a flu jab, if you haven’t already had one
  • wear several layers of clothes to maintain body heat
  • have at least one hot meal a day and have hot drinks regularly
  • keep moving and active
  • seek advice from a pharmacist if you are feeling unwell, even if it’s just a cough or cold
  • check in on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they are safe and well

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at the CCGs, said: “This week looks like it could be one of the coldest we’ve had for some time so it is important for people to prepare. It can be difficult to stay warm in these kind of temperatures and if you know someone who needs help, please do take the time to look in on them over the next few days.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “With temperatures predicted to drop below zero this week, it’s important for residents to make sure that they are prepared for the cold.

“If you’re in good health and able to get about please check in on elderly relatives, neighbours or those who may be living with dementia to ensure they are warm enough and have everything they need at home.”

For more advice on how to ‘keep warm, keep well’, please visit the NHS Choices website:

Dive into a new era of swimming in Sefton

Sefton’s pools are set to launch brand new swimming timetables complete with a selection of new sessions on March 1 2018.

 Dunes Splash World in Southport, Bootle Leisure Centre and Meadows Leisure Centre in Maghull will be introducing a variety of new swim sessions that have been specifically designed to match the feedback residents gave in a consultation last year.

 This comes as part of Sefton Council’s measures to improve the swimming offer in the borough made possible by grant funding from Sport England.

 The installation of high tech sound systems and lighting at the three centres has opened up a world of opportunities for the kind of pool sessions that can be offered in Sefton.

 Calm Waters will make use of mood lighting and gentle music to create a relaxed pool environment, perfect for those recovering from ill health or anyone who wants to enjoy a swim in calmer waters.

 Swim and Splash on the other hand will be perfect for younger swimmers looking to have fun in the pool. These sessions will come complete with music, floats and monthly Wave Raves will even see the pool dyed different colours.

 Swimming is a great form of exercise and the new swim fit sessions will allow participants to train in a lane that is relevant to their ability. They will have to option to follow exercises led by an instructor or through poolside swim fit cards.

 As well as the new additions, popular sessions are set to return including £1 swims, swimming lessons and Get Healthy Get Active, a swimming confidence programme for adults with learning disabilities and over 65’s.

 Over 3,000 people took part in the consultation to tell the council what they thought about swimming and how it could be improved.

 As well as tailoring new timetables, the consultation also led to a full renovation of the changing facilities at Dunes Splash World and Bootle Leisure Centre. All three centres will also be fitted with poolside lockers that can be used to store items such as glasses, hearing aids and walking sticks while poolside hangers can be used to hang towels and robes.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into improving the swim offer in Sefton and it’s fantastic to see everything come together.

 “The new changing facilities at Dunes and in Bootle have made a huge difference to the pool environments and the introduction of the new timetables will truly open up a world of swimming opportunities for Sefton residents!”

 To see the full list of sessions heading to the centres visit

Wellbeing boost for communities

Living Well Sefton, the local collaboration of wellbeing partners, is pleased to announce the fourth round of its Community Resilience Grant is now open.

Launched on national #TimetoTalk day, the theme for the grants is mental health. Community groups and community-minded individuals are being encouraged to apply for funding for projects designed to improve the mental wellbeing of their local communities.

The Community Resilience Grant has already supported local communities on a range of projects including enhancing wellbeing through gardening or craft workshops, tackling social isolation, providing cooking classes to improve healthy eating, and lots more.

Karen Nolan, co-ordinator of Living Well Sefton, explains: “Many people in our communities have benefited through the projects we have already funded. We’d love to discuss your ideas on how to improve wellbeing in your neighbourhood. A small grant can make a big difference!”

Grants available include up to £2,500 for applications from organisations and £500 to individuals, who are supported by a organisational partner. Grants are subject to specific criteria being met and will be approved by a judging panel. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 3 April.

Anyone interested in applying can complete the online application form on the Living Well Sefton website: where there are also guidance notes on how to complete the form as well as the criteria for applying. Paper versions of the organisation and individual application forms can also be found on the website.

For further details of the grant call the team direct on 0300 323 0181 or email

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